OP-ED: Somaliland: A Presidency for Sale


Jamal (L) & Feisal celebrate UCID destruction accordBy: Jamal Madar

Source: Hornnewspaper.com

Faisal Ali Warabe, the leader of the Welfare and Justice Party known as UCID by its Somali acronym, illegally and undemocratically sold the party’s presidential candidacy for the 2015 presidential elections to a former banker named Jamal Ali Hussein. A lot of money changed hands, according to the Somaliland language daily, HAATUF. Not only did Faisal illegally sell this candidacy to Jamal at a price ranging from $350,000 to $1.5 million according to the local press but also he acted illegally without the approval of, and consultation with, the central committee of the party.

The agreement reached by the two sides clearly states that Jamal is the “official UCID presidential candidate” for 2015 presidential elections even though he was not approved by any member of the party other than Faisal himself.

The former banker who bought the party has already given himself excessive powers. He nominated his running mate for the 2015 presidential election and also nominated the secretary general of the party as well as the party’s shadow secretary of internal affairs. Furthermore, Jamal insisted that he should be given the power to nominate his own 100 members of the central committee whereas UCID will retain 100 members. An additional 51 members will remain as a reserve just incase. This means that Jamal will be voted by the newly-formed central committee as the unopposed presidential candidate of UCID for the year 2015 if the elections go ahead as planned.

How can someone who has not even been approved by the central committee be able to nominate himself as the official presidential candidate of the party, pick his own running mate and appoint the secretary general of UCID as well as the shadow secretary of internal affairs?

Obviously, Jamal was not approved by the congress which is the highest authority of the party. His nominations are therefore illegal.

Faisal who failed his presidential bid twice repeatedly refused to step down voluntarily and make way for someone else. As a result, supporters left UCID in droves as it lost credibility in the eyes of the people. Most of UCID’s supporters joined WADANI, which is a splinter group of UCID.

In a press statement, Faisal publicly whined that he spent everything he had [time, money and effort] on this party [UCID] and that he had no property of his own in Hargeisa. Jamal quickly deciphered Faisal’s message, and paid him a princely amount of money to buy the UCID party. However, Faisal still clings to the leadership of the party just in case.

Earlier, Jamal officially paid $350,000 into the coffers of the former ruling party UDUB so that he could be officially nominated for the post of the party’s presidential candidate for 2015. However, the former Somaliland president Dahir Rayale Kahin, who was not in the country at the time, rejected the move and took the case to the Supreme Court, which ruled in his favour. As a result, Jamal was kicked out of UDUB following the Supreme Court ruling.

Politics have entered a ludicrously new stage in Somaliland where everything is for sale- even the presidency. Jamal is spending vast amounts of money in an effort to persuade the voters to buy his unique “product” – “The Presidential Candidate Jamal” — on election day. This is insanely laughable.

Jamal has already written a book called “The Book of Laughter”. Perhaps he could add this funny chapter to his next edition- a chapter titled: How I Bought The Somaliland Presidency and Made Everyone Laugh.

Jamal Madar